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5 Low alcohol local beers that actually don’t taste like water

Karl Tessendorf takes you on a tour of the lighter side of craft beer this festive season.

by: Karl Tessendorf | 03 Dec 2018
beer in a glass

Loosen your belt one notch because Festive Season is here! Yes, it’s that time of year when we tuck into festive goodies like mince pies, giant boxes of biscuits, Woolies chocolate balls, and my personal favourite, the mighty gammon. If you have a big family like me, then you’re probably going to spend a lot of your holiday time rolling from braai to picnic to braai. With all this excess in the air, it helps to shop on the lighter of craft beer. Luckily, these days we have more tasty options than ever. Here are my top picks for this Festive Season. 

Darling Brew - Sungazer Light Lager 

Darling are masters of great lager and you’d have a hard time believing that Sungazer is only 2.6% if I didn’t tell you. It has a superb malt backbone and a light, floral and citrus hop kick. I recently had one in a blind tasting and I actually thought it was their original Slow Lager. It was brewed for their mountain biking fans and it will quench the biggest of thirsts.  

Drifter Brewing - El Capitán Mexican Lager 

Make way for El Capitán because he’s setting sail on a tasty adventure and you’re invited. Drifter really pushed the boat out on this one and brewed a true Mexican-style lager. It’s in a clear glass bottle, which is generally a bad thing because UV light causes hops to go funky, but they’ve used an imported, light-stable hop oil and a Mexican yeast strain. The result is a mild, malty brew with a subtle hop bite. I recommend shoving a lime in the bottle for maximum Mexicaness. 

Poison City Brewing - Cannabis Lage

Warning: do not operate heavy machinery while drinking this cannabis-infused beer! Just kidding, the hemp seed in the brew won’t get you high as it contains no THC. What it does have though is 4% alcohol, a low-calorie count, and bags of flavour. It’s a well-balanced lager with just enough biscuit and bready malt sweetness to complement nutty hemp and spicy, floral hops.   

Mad Giant & Frontier Beer Collab - Absolute Trooper Summer Pils

They say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade but I prefer this pilsner spiked with lemon zest. Absolute Trooper is the absolute in thirst quenching power and it’s been known to go down in just two sips. It’s packed with hop character and the added lemon just amps all of the natural citrus hop flavours up to 11. It’s definitely one of my favourite collabs to come out of Jozi this year. 

Little Wolf Table Beer

Damn, Little Wolf. Why you gotta be so fine? I mean just look at that bottle. It’s elegant, refined and the beer inside matches the outside perfectly. Table Beer is Little Wolf’s homage to the light table beers of Belgium. They are the perfect mealtime dance partners because they are low in alcohol yet high in flavour. Table Beer is smooth on the palate and packed with citrus and spicy hop character. It finishes dry and pairs well with nearly anything that you happen to be snacking on. 

ALSO READ: 4 Best ways to start making your own beer


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